The much-anticipated ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Van produced as an exclusive model by the Kernow Model Rail Centre have now arrived (appropriately via Southampton Docks) and are being despatched to customers and all pre-orders being fulfilled (but please expect this to take a few days). This is not a review for obvious reasons, but hopefully the photographs will speak for themselves.
First introduced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1884 they were later classed as Southern Railway Diagram 1541. Almost 500 of these were built between then and 1905 making them the most numerous LSWR Goods Brake Van. Brake Vans with side doors through which parcels or other goods could be loaded were known as road vans.
Ten versions have been produced:
- SB003A LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number 56046 in SR Brown livery with red ends. (Isle of Wight) In the condition as preserved on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
- SB003B LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number 10131 in LSWR Brown livery with red ends. (Mainland)
- SB003C LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number DS 54538 in BR Grey livery with “RETURN TO THREE BRIDGES” branding. (Mainland)
- SB003D LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number S56055 in BR Grey
- SB003E LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number S56050 in BR Grey livery. (Isle of Wight)
- SB003F LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number S54663 in BR Grey livery. (Mainland)The last road van in service, based at Wadebridge, officially withdrawn in July 1958, but survived in some form of service until 1961. It was then purchased by the Bluebell Railway as their first item of goods rolling stock, arriving on 4th May 1962.
- SB003G LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number S54466 in BR Brown livery. (Mainland)
- SB003H LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number 54611 in SR pre-1936 Brown livery with red ends. (Mainland)
- SB003J LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number 54551 in SR post-1936 Brown livery. (Mainland)
- SB003K LSWR 10 Ton Goods Brake Van number 56045 in SR post-1936 Brown livery. (Isle of Wight)
The pictures show the high level of detail and multitude of separately fitted parts including: flush glazing, hand rails, brake gear with pull rodding, step boards and lamp irons to accurately portray a number of different versions of the prototype. These options include alternative buffer shanks with a ribbed option as fitted to some vans including those preserved on the Isle of Wight and Bluebell steam railways and either straight or cranked step board supports, the latter as fitted to the majority of those transferred in 1925 to the Isle of Wight.
Care and research has been undertaken with the various liveries to to ensure that the correct livery specifications have been met, especially for the LSWR / SR Good Brown. The application is crisp, as we would expect, and includes legible solebar cast number plates.
I hope that those whom have have had these models on pre-order for some time are pleased with the final model.